A God Like No Other

Deuteronomy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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A God Like No Other

Intro:
What does unique mean? Webster’s Dictionary says that unique is “being the only one; sole or being without equal.” Take a moment and think of something in your life that is unique. While you are thinking, I will give you some of my examples. My kids are unique. You are unique. There is not anyone in this world exactly like you. That is because we were created by a unique God. We have been walking through the book of Deuteronomy and more specifically, the last few weeks we have been in Deuteronomy 4. We have looked at Moses’ call to obedience and how idolatry was forbidden. We have one other thing that Moses wanted to tell the Israelites and as a result us about before they went into the Promised Land. So, what I want us to see tonight is this. There is no God like our God and once we realize that, our response should be one of total surrender and obedience.
Text: Deuteronomy 4:32-40

32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other. 36 From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. 37 Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, 38 to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today.

39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.

As we wrap up chapter 4, Moses is finishing this first sermon to the Israelites as they get ready to go into the land that God had promised their ancestors. In this last part, Moses is try to show them How great their God is when compared to the other gods they would face in the new land.
I. The revelation that Yahweh alone is God.
The first thing that Moses was trying to reveal was that Yahweh alone is God. Look at verses 32 - 34.

32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

Moses is trying to get them to see that the whole of Israel’s recent history is one mighty act of God. In verse 34, we find 7 expressions that Moses uses to describe this act of God. Remember, the number 7 is very important in Hebrew. The fact that there are 7 expressions is not a mistake. It is the climax of an important statement that Moses was trying to make.
The first expression of Yahweh showing He was God alone was testing. The translation of testing from the Hebrew does not make the point clearly here. It is more like God challenging the gods of Egypt to stop Him. It was a daring act. The second expression was the miraculous signs. These are proof the Yahweh is who He says He is. The third expression was wonders. These are like omens that amazed. The fourth expression was by war. This war was between Yahweh and Pharoah, between the Lord and all the gods of Egypt. In these events, Yahweh proved victorious over all of the gods of Egypt. The fifth and sixth expression kind of go together. They are a might hand and an outstretched arm. The iconography of the Egyptians and their kings, you will see that the raised hand—the strong hand and the outstretched arm of pharaoh—are always dominant motifs. Against pharaohs and against the gods of Egypt, we could say He beats the Egyptians at their own game, and He beats the gods of Egypt at their own game. The seventh expression was awesome deeds. It is at these moments, at these awesome deeds that we are to say. “Wow, what an awesome God.” “With these four questions and this catalogue of divine actions Moses declares that Yahweh’s rescue of Israel from Egypt is unparalleled either in historical records or in fictional portrayals; the notion is unheard of, the experience is intolerable, and the divine power displayed is awesome.”
But why? Why did Moses feel the need to recount the history of what God had done. You see, like us, Israel did not always get why God did what He did in their lives. I believe the reason for that is because He is like no other so we fail to accept there is no other. You admit it. You see it all around you in your lives don’t you? Like Israel, we are tempted and all we see all these things like draw us in. I know when I was at Ole Miss, it was sports in my life. My roommate and I had to be at every football game, we had to go to basketball, and baseball was on even another level as we thought nothing about trying to miss church to go to a regional game, just to get standing room only tickets at Swazey Field. Then, Jesus grabbed my life. He saved me like Yahweh did Israel. He helped me to see what we fail to see too much. Jesus is different. He calls us to be different, to live differently. He is like no other so don’t let the idols and gods of today lure you in. There is only one God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Jesus. If you look to what is different from what the world says is good, you may just find Him as Israel did that there are no others. Notice in verse 35, Moses lays it out for them. 35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.
II. The realization that there is no other.
Secondly, Moses wanted to help them see and come to the realization that there are no other gods.
The NIV Application Commentary: Deuteronomy The Theology Lesson, Part I (4:35)

A CENTRAL THEOLOGICAL FACT drives this paragraph: The God of Israel is sui generis—in a class all his own. Having ended verse 34 with a reminder that these acts were all performed for Israel’s sake, he reiterates this point in verse 35: “You were shown … so that you might know.” The purpose of Yahweh’s awesome acts was revelatory: these events demonstrated that he alone deserves the title God (ʾelōhîm) and that there is no other in his class. He is indeed “God of gods” (10:17).

Israel needed, and we today need, to come to a realization that there is no other. Do you believe there is no other besides our God? If you read God’s Word, there should be no doubt. Notice how God confirms His uniqueness to us. 2 Samuel 7:22

22 “How great you are, Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears.

2 Kings 19:17–19 NIV
“It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”
Isaiah 43:10–13 NIV
“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you. You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am he. No one can deliver out of my hand. When I act, who can reverse it?”
It is clear with these verses and many others that our God is like no other. There is none other that Yahweh. And because of this, you and I are without excuse. Paul says in Romans 1:20

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

You and I are without excuse and we better come to the realization in our lives that there is only one, true God. We better realize that we need to submit to him today. We are not guaranteed another moment, not even another second. He provided this great grace of salvation to Israel during biblical times and now he has provided it to us through the person of Jesus Christ.
III. Our response to the grace of His salvation.
So, what should our response our response be to the grace of His salvation? Notice verse 39.

39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.

There are three commands here that Moses gave the Israelites and that continues to be true for us today. The first two are together: acknowledge and take to heart. In the original Hebrew, the word acknowledge simply means “and you will know.” You will know God. Knowing God is a matter of being committed. Being committed is a matter of taking to heart that He is Lord. This is reinforcing the uniqueness of God. To “take it to heart” means to give yourself over to believing He is who He says He is and that not only is He Lord over the heavens but that He is also Lord on earth, right beside us everywhere we go. That is the message Moses is trying to get across here to the Israelites and that is the same message that we need to hear today.
The third command was to keep His decrees and commands. A SINGLE PRACTICAL FACT drives the final verse: awareness of the history of Yahweh’s actions on Israel’s behalf and knowledge of his status as supreme over all must inspire behavior in line with the will of this gracious God. Moses appeals to his people to obey the will of Yahweh for their own good and for the good of their descendants. If they will keep alive the memory of Yahweh’s gracious actions, if their theology remains pure, and if their response is right, God’s mission for them will be fulfilled. The land has indeed been promised them as an eternal possession, but enjoyment of the promise is conditional. Each generation must commit itself anew to being the people of God in God’s land for God’s glory. Keeping these commands was not only obedience for them but an example for others in the new land but more importantly, their children. What we do affects future generations. Think about it. One generation goes to church every time the door opens, never misses. The next, misses some. Then, the next generation begins to think it is okay to miss even more. And it continues to perpetuate itself until you have a generation of people that are okay with not going at all. I know as students, you are thinking that is a long time away Bro. Rob, I have time to get it right. I can miss a little now. Whether you want to believe it or not, the spiritual and godly habits that you form now will last a lifetime and affect others in the future. Take your walk with Jesus to heart now before it is too late.
Conclusion:
You may ask, how do we proclaim God’s grace to the world? Of his own free choice and by his own power, God delivers captives from their bondage and ushers them into a new life of freedom and celebration. However, while the call to salvation is without preconditions, the fulfillment of God’s calling for his people is contingent on grateful obedience to his will. Unlike the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians, the response demanded by the Savior is not defined primarily in liturgical and cultic obligations (like the “care and feeding of the gods”), but through moral obedience. This is how his people render to God sacrifices of praise and proclaim his grace to the watching world. Because remember, there is always someone watching. Whether brothers or sisters, kids at church, or just the guy in a store, you can be an example for Jesus everywhere you are.
But in order to be that example, you have take him to heart and know him. You have to know Him as Lord ans Savior of your life. As Paul says, in Romans 1:16–17:
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Do you believe? Are living by faith? Let us pray.
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